Armed Forces personnel and their families swamped by mounting debt from payday loans or facing other financial issues could get the help they need to get their finances under control after a credit union tailored one of its services specifically for the military community.
The British military, like other sections of the community, can sometimes struggle with their financial management - not only those that might find themselves with money worries but also in terms of building up their financial resilience.
This is often because military life can create some specific challenges to financial security for serving personnel that civilians do not face, but also because service life can leave veterans uniquely unprepared for the demands of managing money once they have left the Forces.
Plane Saver Credit Union (PSCU), a member of the Joining Forces partnership, is aiming to address some of the financial issues facing the Armed Forces community with a new brand, First Defence Finance, targeting serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families.
The company offers services such as flexible savings, loans and free debt advice.
Valerie Walwyn, Plane Saver Credit Union’s Chief Executive Officer, who is also a veteran, said:
"The First Defence Finance brand symbolises our ongoing commitment to serve members of the Armed Forces."
Ms Walwyn added: “It is our mission to help those who are financially excluded by simplifying savings and offering ethical loans.”
First Defence Finance say they aim to provide ethical finance and to help even more members of the Armed Forces increase their financial resilience while making the cost of borrowing more affordable and accessible.
For their responsible money lending practises, PSCU won the Money Age Ethical Lender of the Year award.
The Credit Union also launched a special ‘Payday Payoff’ loan to help service personnel pay off high interest rate payday loans.
The Joining Forces Initiative, was established in 2015 by the Ministry of Defence to address concerns about the rising levels of debt among Armed Forces personnel.
The new partnership comprises three credit unions, including PSCU, which has already helped 3,000 serving personnel save over £1 million and borrow £9 million since 2015.
As a Silver Covenant holder, PSCU is committed in supporting those who have served by donating £5,000 to The Royal British Legion to support the charity’s life-changing work.
Ms Walwyn said:
“As Armed Forces Personnel are a growing area of our membership, we thought it only right to represent this group through the launch of our own military brand.
"This new brand allows us to expand our range of products designed specifically for military personnel."
She said First Defence Finance is committed to helping members of the Armed Forces feel more in control of their money, and therefore achieve financial security.
The credit union's mission is to be technology driven with the launch of a new website www.firstdefencefinance.co.uk among new initiatives introduced by the company.
For more information on the services provided, visit www.firstdefencefinance.co.uk or call 020 8066 3400 to arrange a consultation.